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tv   Book Discussion on The Fractured Republic  CSPAN  July 9, 2016 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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limit. if you do two shifts and go home and try to rest, you might just be three minutes late being back to the job. we just want to make sure the misconduct we are talking about rises to a serious level. also, is an issue around chicago o'hare airport. contract workers, two unarmed security guard that o'hare were fired and the pretense that they leaked sensitive information to the press.
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prior to that firing they made statements to the press complaining about their pay, poor working conditions and retaliation of union organizing activity. they also said they had no training to deal with emergencies other than to radio supervisors in case of an event. what do you have in place to make sure contractors are giving the type of training that they need in these airports? >> when it comes to the contractors you're referring to chicago is a federalized airport so the transportation security offices there are federal employees. i am not familiar with the report you cited but if i had to take a stab at it, i would say the contractors you are probably referring to are the ones that
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worked for the airport in other duties. we certainly have an insiders program at tsa where we work with our airport and airline partners to make it so that we are putting into effect as many recommendations as possible reducing the number of access points to the sterile area and increasing the expectation for every airport worker that they will be screened and questioned if they came through a gate the required screening. we are beginning to see significant improvement, we are improving our insider threat training across the system. if i may, may i address something you mentioned earlier in your statement. i would like to go on record
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saying 99.7% of tsa officers have passed integrity tests, 99.7% have seen positive results. over 5000 tests at 200 airport since 2012 and that speaks to the integrity and value driven workforce that i am proud to be part of. >> my time is up so i will yield back but before i say that i do reach out and back to washington, picking up my clothes at the cleaners, i definitely thank them for their service and i yield back. >> the gentleman from new jersey, would like to state for the record all parties in the committee as well, you folks received the report at the same time which was yesterday. no one was given difference at
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all. we are all going to it including you as well. the chair will recognize the gentleman from alabama, mister rogers. >> thank the witnesses for being here. i want to follow up on the question about compensation, these were all senior executive officials receiving and it has capped at 10,000. is there a total on annual compensation? >> our program is in concert with opm standards. i do not have the exact number. >> is there a total on top of their annual base compensation? >> performance bonus? they will be paid a performance bonus commensurate with their performance in that year but i do not know the exact. >> my question is if somebody is being paid $175,000 is there a cap on how much over and above
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that they could possibly be given or is there an unlimited amount? >> we have controls from the department. at a certain level you have to pay 5% at the bonus level. 0 or 5 is the starting level. beyond a certain dollar value and i can't remember the dollar value, you have to go through the department, deputy secretary has to approve it, we have a performance review board that reviews everything across the department but as to the exact value i would have to get back to you. >> please do. please check and see if there is any gap or not. anyway, 5 entities within the tsa have responsibility for some part of the process to address misconduct, but no one senior official has been clearly designated, tsa has 20 direct reports to the administrator.
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i find that phenomenal and nearly 3000 headquarter employees, that is an awfully big bureaucratic hierarchy. do you think that is the best structure to be used to deal with some of these problems that have been outlined in this report? >> as i mentioned before, when it comes to misconduct allegations there are different functions that work through the system. you need somebody to investigate, somebody to adjudicate the findings and you need leadership that can implement but all of them do come through for their policies, the office of human capital and ultimately responsible to the administrator and myself so we do have a structure in keeping with the rest of the government when it comes to designing the function. the centralization of the workforce management is underway as i mentioned, we are in short
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order going to begin to use a system administrator for human capital as the central body that will oversee the promises and implementation of the policies across the enterprise. >> i am hearing you say that you don't see a problem with the administer having 20 direct reports. >> when the administrator came in he looked at his structure and has consolidated those direct reports under a chief operations officer. as we look to the future of tsa we will absorb the findings in the report, best practices available, and keep evolving tsa to be an effective and efficient organization. >> i would urge you to look into the processes for some of these organizational charts as opposed to the government. the government has not been the best role model for that. according to the administrator,
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tsa vets employees on a recurring basis. you made reference to that which means conducting, history checks to identify activities that might not be disclosed as required. but our investigation found other agencies identify criminal activity tsa missed which referred to the oig investigation. please reconcile these facts. how can the current vetting process be with other agencies identifying information they have not uncovered? >> it depends on what it is that was uncovered. if it is recreational drug use, that would probably not show up in a criminal history check for example. in those instances the annual criminal history check would not catch it but if you polygraph different agencies you might self-report on it. >> thank you. i yield back, mister chairman. >> the gentleman from georgia.
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>> this is extremely important, looking at tsa, an important aspect of the national security. it was viewed by the american people as potentially the most mismanaged, a long wait ines, but also the interaction between tsa employees and the general public and other issues i will get into and understand you haven't been on the job very long so this isn't geared toward you. you have a lot of work ahead of you if you can turn things around. my first question i will pose to both of you, of the numerous allegations of misconduct that
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are made generally who makes those allegations? coworkers? supervisors? the public? who makes the allegations? >> i don't have specific information to provide you an exact number, certainly all of the above in terms of the allegations we get, and it depends on the nature of the allegation. narcotics from an airport came through confidential informants. some is not part of tsa and it depends. >> would you like to address that. >> i concur with everything. >> one thing i know from working in the military as well as private business, one indication of poor more row is exactly what we are seeing here. a lot of allegations which many may end up being false. there is a more row problem we
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have. another question, regarding the number of employees, 781 placed on administrative leave between 2013-15. generally those employees are paid when they are on administered leave? >> i believe they are but i can get back to you on the specifics. >> i would appreciate that. the previous investigation we did through this committee shows during a similar timeframe the department of homeland security spent $30 million bank employees to stay at home and not at work because they were on administrative leave and some of those were as much is two years. quite often our friends on the other side of the aisle say our biggest problem is lack of funding and i think there is at least $30 million we could use their if we can adjudicate these on a quicker basis. let me address one other thing. i will meeting with the ambassador of a foreign country over some issues we have been
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having. last year a constituent of ours was put in prison in india because when they arrived in india to work for habitat for humanity it was found that he had four live bullets in a backpack he carried onto the aircraft. he didn't know they were there. he went through two tsa checkpoint in the united states and it was not found. when he arrived in india they were found. right now i have a constituent in mexico who was arrested. he made it through tsa checkpoint in the united states, bullets in a backpack he didn't realize was there, but it was caught as he was trying to return to the united states, he was arrested and imprisoned, self-employed, has no income at this point. a friend of mine came to dca without realizing he had a
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backpack carry-on, 12gauge shotgun shells in his backpack he didn't realize was there until he got to the hotel in washington dc, made it through a tsa checkpoint. another one recently made it to the gate with a pair of shears in their pocket they forgot was in there until they were about to board the plane and reached in their pocket and found a pair of shears and made it through the checkpoint. i personally experienced several years ago getting to dc, had a large flat head screwdriver in my briefcase i did not know was there. i made it through a tsa checkpoint. we are talking about bonuses for performance? these issues we are lucky these were people who did not have ill intentions. how has this happened? is it a morale issue or people on drugs that are working? a lot of the instances are because we are not following security procedures? the technology is not up to date and we are forcing people to do things when they don't have the
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right tools? >> all of that begins with training. you have to prepare the workforce to do the mission which is why we started the tsa academy and why we have sent all our newly hired officers there to receive training on specific technologies they will use when they hit the airport and we will give recurrent training to our officers. the technology can and will improve in the future. i will tell you our dedication to security mission has resulted in appreciable updates of the prohibitive items we find on a daily basis at airports. in 2012 for example we found 2200 firearms. this year we are on track to find 3000. we continue to work with staff to give them better training.
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you may have heard of the new innovations we put in atlanta. not only does it speed up the flow of people divesting themselves and moving through a checkpoint but allows us to give an officer real-time feedback on tests in the system. this helps officers learn and keep improving their skills, working in a checkpoint is a demanding environment but we do not have luxuries -- we are continuing to invest in our people and commit to their excellent service and support of the nation. >> thank you. i am out of time. i yield back. i'm concerned over the bonus issue when the performance bonuses do not seem commensurate with the performance we are seeing, thank you. >> i think the gentleman from georgia. i recognize the gentleman from florida. correction, mister radcliffe.
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you owe me now. >> thank you, chairman. thank you for your work over the last six month to put together this report and its findings. i think both the witnesses for being here, for the investigative work your office did here, good to see you again. for the benefit of others in the room i had the chance to work in her prior role as head of domestic nuclear detection office and in my role as chairman of the cyber security subcommittee on homeland and i will say that under your leadership, d.o. repeatedly received excellent marks in reviews with respect to its morale and efficiency and effectiveness. i think that bodes well.
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i was pleased to hear about your selection as deputy administrator of the tsa. having said that, these are challenging times and i related the same to the administrator a few months ago because aviation traffic is up, passenger loads are up, at the same time we know that terrorists continue to make civil aviation, airlines and airports the target of their twisted ideology. that being the case, it makes some of what we have in this report and its findings all the more troubling. it looks like tsa employs 60,000 people and according to this report a total of 17,611 allegations of misconduct.
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it means 29% of tsa's workforce has misconduct allegations within the past year and given the vast majority of those relate to the transportation security officers on the front line. that is even more troubling. one thing i have almost observed universally with respect to all successful organizations is they can point to one of the greatest assets being there people so i want to start with you and say in trying to get the tsa to that place where champions its people as one of its greatest assets, you have only been there a short time but i would like your assessment. is this a problem? is it a need for better protocol? it is an issue of retraining the tsa workforce?
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you talked about the tsa academy in response to this, is it an issue of technology or a combination of all those? i would like a frank assessment given where you are at this point? >> i would like to reiterate what i said to mister payne earlier this morning. since 2012 we have conducted almost 5000 inspections, integrity testing tests at over 200 airports, 99.7% pass rate through front-line officers. that is an incredibly diligent and proficient workforce, very professional workforce. we do have some issues with misconduct and even one case is one too many. it starts with training, providing the right basics, giving them all the tools they can possibly have to succeed, career path progression, making
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sure the technology they have enabled them to do their job, keep up with their skills and i want to thank congress for the additional resources that allow us to bring on board the right size staff, convert people from part-time to full-time which increases performance and retention and overtime hours including shiftwork, so thanks to you guys we will have more canines, better technology, more people on the front lines and all of that accompanied by training and technology, it cannot be a single bullet that will fix everything. >> thank you. my time is about to expire but as i already said i have great confidence in you and your abilities and i'm very pleased so far with how the administrator has approached the job in his short time there but
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you and the administrator only have 6 months until the new administration comes in so what are your plans with respect to making sure the initiatives and approaches you want to use to fix these issues and problems with respect to employee misconduct will carry forward into the next administration. >> thank you for your vote of confidence. in taking this job i went back to federal service so the next administration will see me in service. i hope to stay there for a good bit of my career. the administrator has given us a strong foundation by virtue of the academy, consistent training across the board. he has put us on a good path and whether he stays on in the next administration or not, he set it up in fine fashion.
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>> my time is expired. i thank you for being here. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mister clawson. >> thank you for coming. i will go a little off-topic, okay, appreciate what you all do for the nation. my district is fort myers, naples, great districts right on the water. we live and die on tourism and we don't mind being team players. the tsa takes people out of the airport, chicago, you have long lines and in our down season, we hear you. i have been kicking up a lot of dust on this. when october and november get here we want our people back. we want our dogs back. everybody is on the record here. we are all a small child, we are
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the youngest child compared to other big airports and regions around the country but we have an ecological disaster we don't do a lot about. if we get long lines on top of that it will hurt my people and hurt my economy so please give us our people that, we are being team players, we are not squawking but when our season comes, figure out chicago and other airports handling your business to get our people back. i am pleading with you. home team first with me all the way. home team first. got a lot of working-class folks depending on that industry. second thing i want to bring up, it is not bad behavior or anything like that, it is my impression through my own investigation reading and studying this that our canine thing is helter-skelter.
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we have shut down internal developments and feels like we are understaffed on canines that can track that in a crowd and the airports, at a broader level. it seems to me we could be spending more time, a lot more money, buying drugs from mexico and europe, we get a few out of auburn and send them to texas and put them on the field. it feels like i wish we had 5 more good dogs and some of these problems that have been talked about today wouldn't be such a big issues. those dogs are very good.
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machines and humans are not as good on some things. we should be putting a lot more into the dog program. are you agreeing with me on that? >> which is why we are aiming to get 500 passengers screening canine teams to our airports and many thanks to congress for helping us. it will be one of the focus areas. >> will we keep buying dogs from belgium or other countries or in source more so we understand, if i buy a used car and someone else's had that motor for three owners i don't know if he has reported or not. for the genetics of dogs it is important how effective they are
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but we are outsourcing the genetics and upbringing of those dogs. am i right about that? >> it would be really beneficial if we were to sit down and walk you through the full extent of our canine program, how we by the dogs, how we train the dogs, what it takes to train the dogs and how we put them on the field, the partnerships we have domestically and internationally. it would help you to see all of that. at your convenience i would like to share that information. >> i sit on homeland security and i'm worried about my airport, they do a good job, would like to put more into it and if you want to start training dogs and set up a facility in southwest florida we would love to have it. thanks for coming in today, appreciate what you do for our country. >> thank the gentleman from florida. let's go for a second round. it is going to be you and me, with your indulgence, doctor. tsa uses a disciplines process where repeated misconduct should result in more stringent penalties so as you incur more infractions the penalty curve goes up.
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half of tsa's workforce allegedly committed misconduct from fiscal year 2013-2015. i say allegedly again. almost half of that number did so repeatedly so half of 27,000 led allegations and of those multiple infractions, that suggests this model of increasing penalty is a failure because it hasn't deterred it but also suggests that is not being implement it, the increasing penalty with increasing infractions. can you speak to that? you have been here two month but that is a concern for us. >> it is important to look at individual cases to a certain extent. if you just look at the raw data the vast majority of the allegations fall within things that can be addressed using administrative processes. it is not such an issue of
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misconduct as much of an issue of performance so if somebody is tardy once or twice it goes from counseling to letter of reprimand so when it comes to larger numbers i think perhaps it would benefit us to to the individual cases apart. >> maybe there should be two separate categories so we can further determine where the bigger problem is so resources can be expended there because i tend to agree with you, if it is something criminal that is obviously different than showing up a few minutes late for work and we get that but i would also say and i think you would agree that the integrity of the system depends on everybody doing the best they can. none of us are perfect. as the boss used to tell me if you could be 3 minutes late you can be 3 minutes early. you are holding the other person up, holding the line up and
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these things cascade. we have to have that level of expectation of excellence, we are not often enough going to meet that but we have to have expectation to strive for that every single time and if our metrics don't bear that out correctly, we need to look at something else that adequately reflects the circumstance so we can address the problem? >> our conduct permeates everything we do so to the extent we can separate the more egregious and devote time to training and retraining and continue to raise the professionalism of the workforce we fully intend to do so. as i mentioned, we are mission focused, we will invest in our people and we as a team are committed to excellence. >> do you have some input regarding the last discussion we were having that you would like
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to partner? do you have any thoughts? >> one thing i would knows is it has been mentioned earlier, the lack of consistency with regard to discipline and lack of transparency. sounds like tsa is addressing this. that is critically important. we talked about morale, it has a direct impact on morale, the discipline is being applied inconsistently. legal precedent relies on that consistent application to assess whether this discipline was. >> if we missed the mark. if the administration missed the mark i would also say attendance can turn into misconduct, leaving that category to include absent without leave. as a military guy, a wall is a
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serious issue. when you are expected on the line. in the military and in a combat situation these are issues of life and death and i don't want to diminish the military in that regard or increase the visibility or import of this but these employees are expected to be on the line and it increases the workload for the next person or the time spent and that leads to potential failures and it is an issue of life and death. >> undoubtably which is why conduct permeates everything we do. how to prepare for the work, how we do when we show up to work and how we recover and retrain along the way. you won't get any fight for me on the notion that a workforce needs to be disciplined and committed to excellence and maintain esprit they corps.
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>> those adjudications are seen by everybody. you mentioned integrity testing and evaluation. i don't know if i have the terminology correct but i want to make sure i understand that. is that personal integrity? you said it is somewhere in the 97%? >> 99. >> 99%. from my standpoint when you said that how do i juxtapose -- how do i -- how do i view that in light of 27,000 allegations of misconduct, nearly half, 99% integrity rating. i wonder if you see that as an issue with that system. is it adequate? is it appropriate? everyone has this great integrity but half of the workforce is alleged to have been involved in misconduct. >> your personal integrity, and inspector might go through a
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checkpoint and accidentally drop some money. in 99% of those tests since 2012 -- >> somebody says i find some money. >> brings it right back to see if it was dropped. those are the tests, looking at an officer's personal integrity, the allegations you see before you range from criminal misconduct, 1% of those allegations relate to integrity and ethics and 50% of them relate to attendance and leave. i'm not downplaying any of it. i'm not saying it is an excuse for not having a strong, effective professional workforce which we do have at tsa. i came home to be proud of the workforce. >> i probably have a third round. the gentleman from new york is
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recognized. >> mister -- a quick question for you. and doing the report i know it is not finished yet but i presume you looked at the access control issue as far as employee misconduct and by that i mean employees getting access to secure areas of the airport. that is a major concern of mine particularly in light of what happened in istanbul and brussels but more important the shoe and sharma now shake and egypt air, the latter two were definitely inside jobs at airports where bombs were smuggled in, we are very concerned about the axis control issue. we pass legislation which is sitting in the senate and
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hopefully will get attention at some point. with that as a background, the tsa is capable of effective oversight, access to secure and sterile areas. >> we have addressed that to a certain extent and it has given us some concern. we expressed concern previously and your concerns with regard to the screening that isn't currently being done at the vast majority of airports. we don't have a specific position on that it makes great sense to us. we got screens when we came into this building and when we came to this introduction, seems to make great sense to do it at airports. >> one thing concerning to me is a visitor to an airport get screened and exponentially higher degree of intrusion than individuals that are trusted
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with access to the security of airports and we see what happened with the drug trafficking case in dallas-fort worth as an example of how they exploit that. i am concerned about that going forward. if the report could address that to some extent going forward i would appreciate that. the last thing i will note is a little off-topic but it is important and i want to note it for the record. prior to coming in here today, we had a discussion about the cuba issue. i was handed an email that was sent out this morning celebrating the fact from the department of transportation that multiple airlines are giving multiple daily flights to the united states from cuba and the process is ongoing and going
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full speed ahead despite the fact that my committee was denied access to even look at the airport in cuba, could have been a transportation security subcommittee. that trip coat -- to cuba was necessitated that the conduct in the hearing about cuba stonewalling us while trying to get that formation. talking about 10 airports in cuba that we have no idea what the security levels are. you told me there is charter airlines. quite a different thing from a charter airline and occasional stop, direct flights to the united states and i will note many security concerns about that i am concerned about this.
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the lack of transparency, i am concerned that we were prohibited from going to cuba that the airports are safe enough for people to fly from those airports to the united states, very concerned about that. this administration is a runaway train, no one stops them from doing this. and they fly to and from the airports. we did a lot of work to be done. there are concerns about whether or not air marshals are allowed on the flight or the integrity of employees and the equipment is sufficient or existent at all, those are things we need to have an effort. and make informed decisions whether to go to cuba based on security concerns and the
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overlay that the communist government of cuba is not letting us in and subject to sanctions in the united states, and overlay that on the fact that cuba is all over the middle east especially afghanistan and some people speculate looking at cuba as a new gateway into the united states, and the fact that 60 years, hostile relations to the united states and cuba lending a logical conclusion one or two people might be so mad at us they might do something stupid. all those things are a high concern and i ask that you convey them to the appropriate people and tell them we need access to those airports so we can see for ourselves if they are in proper shape to allow american travel to come. lastly, it is our job to oversight and we feel we are not
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doing our job. you can pay that to tsa and homeland security. >> i certainly will. >> last thing i will say, and the next rounders overuse to shield themselves in unfavorable topic. >> the chair will follow up on line of questions, and the gentleman from alabama, mister rogers regarding a concurrent investigations vetting, screening, testing and other agencies identify criminal activity that tsa missed, and understand how that is done. there is concurrent testing of
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current employees and not just incoming employees, you undergo a battery of testing of some basis annually. is that correct? >> yes. >> is there a variation not only in time but different paradigm, the whole panoply. you might have been tested, and have another check in june. that check happened in september. that didn't include a polygraph this year but includes a polygraph next year. the state background check last time, i want to get a flavor for the variations of that which is unpredictability, employees to thwart that system. the insider threat that you are
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concerned about. >> the annual and recurrent peace is betting against criminal history. the testing happened for drug testing happens on reasonable suspicion basis or a random basis. >> regularly occurring. in the military if you are the military, there is a round of drug testing, you show up two times in a row or 6 times in a row and it might happen a couple months in a row or eight months at a time. is that similar to tsa? >> i don't know the full details of this program but i imagine it is just as you mentioned. would you allow me to take it up again? >> yes. the other paradigms, i would like you to delve into that because it seems to me, once you get in people are people and we
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have people that are radicalized and influenced by different things, they become dejected, it seems to me there needs to be -- this is critical, this infrastructure that protect the american flying public, there should be a robust paradigm that is random and varied and comes to the full panoply so we keep honest people honest. i would like your thoughts if you could get back to me on that as well. >> another question i have, according to individuals who came forth, senior managers have used directed reassignment, i am familiar with it, to at times punish security concerns, this practice potentially poses significant cost to taxpayers, the administrator previously testified this is no longer
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occurring but last week, our staff received allegations, that in june, tsa assigned an fsc requiring a report to work across the country in just three days. are you familiar and if you can, please explain if this is occurring, how it can occur? >> i would like to reiterate what the administrator said at the hearing you referenced. and operating agency meets the ability to move its people periodically, exigency circumstances. mission driven, full control supplies, well vetted and to the office of human capital. is it financially sustainable etc.? when it comes to individual cases in the interest of the privacy of the employees it is a discussion we should have in different environments and i
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would like to present to you off-line all the details we have on that case. >> so that i fully understand are these permanent reassignments? are they temporary, 3 days to relocate across the country. if i were to relocate across the country and three days, i have a family, most people do. that is a hardship and usually a military pd y or some other governmental move, a robust period with the expectation of selling your home and setting up your new home at what is the circumstance? is there, if you would, do you have any knowledge being used as a point of reprisal, has it been done in the past, how do you monitor so that is set up in the future? >> in this particular instance we can discuss all the details in a different environment. we use details, we ask for permanent reassignments occasionally.
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sometimes employees ask for reassignment. however the case comes about it is presented to the executive resources council, we work through the human capital office, and make sure the decision is being made in the best interest of the mission while keeping the employees in mind. >> i do appreciate your mission focused attitude, had to be mission focused but what we do is set up a time where we have a further discussion because if it does involve a particular employee, information would be appropriate but i want to do that. >> this practice does not occur -- absolutely discontinued that practice. >> since you brought that up, if you can, in this setting.
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what is the safeguard to make sure it is not being used in a retaliatory fashion? >> it can no longer be done in a unilateral action. >> so it comes up to various phases. >> deliberations involved. >> is there process for redress for the employee if they feel it has not been correctly adjudicated as it moved up the chain? is there a process for redress? >> we would address that if the allegation was raised to us, that would be a classic retaliation case we would investigate. >> do you have miliary with this case or any others? >> not sure which case. >> at this time i yield to the
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gentleman from new york. >> as we alluded to earlier, there was a hearing a while back about the cuba issue. prior to the hearing, many of us, staffers, congress men and women and many individuals met with folks from the tsa to get briefed on what was going on in cuba. and with respect to cuban airports, at no time during that hearing or the meeting did anyone raise any concerns about the information they were discussing being of a sensitive, secure, confidential, secret nature, no security classification whatsoever. we come to the hearing and discussed the same matter for public discourse and immediately, that information was designated by the same witnesses who spoke to us in the meeting is being secure, sensitive information which we could not discuss in public.
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it raised a specter we heard again and again about tsa conveniently using the security classification to avoid having public discussion about certain things may be unpleasant for them to discuss in public. if that is the background i ask you to respond. and security classifications for misconduct? >> a current report on it, it is just starting and it is relatively soon. >> it was a request, i made a request to the inspector general's office, let me ask, it has only been a few month that you have been patient with my questions. last question, since that hearing has there been any internal review or discussion about this issue?
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>> we have definitely spoken to all our staff, be more deliberate and upfront when discussing material that is vulnerable in a closed setting, making it clear to our partners with whom we are sharing that information that that means security sensitive information and apply the right wrappers so that you know ahead of time what can or can't be discussed. >> on top of that with respect to this issue and other security issues, basically overuse it, what the allegation is in order to not have to talk about some vital thing with respect to tsa but the larger issue. >> we have not started that. we will take it under advisement and wait for findings of the inspector general and act on what we see. i would like to say you feel the same way about this matter, discussing vulnerabilities,
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aiding and abetting the enemy, certainly not in the interests of the american public. i do appreciate your support in that regard. >> of course. we also have a solemn responsibility to protect the american public. when they are going headstrong with opened up airports all over cuba and we don't have any of these things answered, it may be opening up in the next few months, american airlines is already selling seats for september for those flights and we have no answers. understand why we are concerned about this and there needs to be a public dialogue and understands why we as a committee are skeptical about some of the security designations because anyone who walks through the airport in cuba can see the same thing. with that being said i want to thank you for your patience.
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you just started on the job. i have great faith the tsa is going in the right direction with your leadership but there is a lot of tough questions. in the other room, the tenor of the relationship between the committee, my committee at least and tsa is dictated by how these are answered. that relationship has been tinged by the last hearing and i hope it gets prepared and we move forward together because the security of airports to do the best we can, i am not at all confident that is the case with respect to cuba. >> you have my cooperation in that. >> let me wrap up a couple final questions and thoughts. if you know, do you conduct what i normally consider a climate survey.
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is that a normal issue for tsa where you survey, changing their perceptions of management, upper management, lower management, are you familiar, is that something you instituted in the performance of personnel management. >> it is a climate survey we take that annually like the rest of the federal government. i did not know if we added to that other climate surveys. >> any thoughts? >> we do. we conduct regular inspections. as part of that we do more out or viewpoint survey that addresses the issues you mentioned. >> let me delve into that a little bit with the morale issue as it relates to employee misconduct. what kind of things do you glean from the survey that you put
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into action or some actionable item to address an issue? can you give any examples of issues or actions or solutions? >> of the surveys are done correctly you will get a lot of information running the gamut but an example would be inconsistent application of disciplinary rules, favoritism. >> are those issues? i don't know if you have given me potential data or things you are familiar with because you have seen them and there is an increased occurrence of those items. >> i was speaking more generally but your report to these things is very direct. >> if that is something that is done how often? the employee survey? >> i was referring to our internal survey, we do those somewhat independently.
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in other words not on an exact basis but we also have every one of our field offices and people on a regular schedule of inspection. >> i can speak to the federal employee viewpoints we take every year and certainly question similar to what my colleague mentioned. i will tell you my experience with the survey is very good data. you have to encourage your staff, the first thing is to increase the response. you can lead them. you have to inspire that response. some of the things we did, we took the data and analyze it carefully and found a couple places we could make immediate improvement and establish the basis of trust with staff which solution sets don't come from management, they usually come from people who know what is
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broken and how to fix it so relying on employee teams to solve things is critical. a lot of these experiences i hope to bring acknowledging they are completely different workforces in size and scale and mission but question 43, my supervisor treats me with respect. i find that to be tremendously powerful question. if you are treated with respect, you are more likely to support a safe and secure environment. this is one thing i will continue to pay attention to. i have seen supervisors at 100%, deservedly so, i will throw a shout out to tsa supervisors. >> i appreciate that. why we wind this down just a
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couple thoughts. you need to know, i don't know if you do, the gamut misconduct runs from the very bottom of your first line, brand-new employee to the very top. if you are not aware, oig has investigated senior leaders including former administrators for alleged misconduct. i want you to be aware of that and i don't know, i received information recently that some of your folks in management were asked to be deposed and had some questions and they declined. agency counsel, because they have no confidence in the chief counsel and you need to know that. this might be a personality issue but the chief counsel is known to me from the madison guaranty issue where the chief counsel was an object of investigation is purported to provide information of the investigation to other people that were object of the investigation.
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i tell you this because in the context of low morale are not optimal more out at the same time we see the issue of misconduct those issues are important to people and how they react to them and how you in this new job of yours and you have little time to make a first impression, you know this, you are a smart lady, and set the standard and the circumstance where justice is blind and a standard that everybody from the top to the bottom has to adhere to and will be judged on accordingly. you are the person to do that. i just wanted to outline that. we appreciate your time and thank you very much ford. i think the witnesses, your testimony has been valuable and i thank members for their questions. members may have additional questions for the witnesses and we will ask you to respond to those in writing. pursuant to the committee rule 7e, the hearing record will
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remain open for 10 days. without objection the subcommittee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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